- Peter Summers / Stringer / Getty
- The London Bridge knife attacker from Friday’s incident, Usman Khan, previously claimed in a letter that he wanted to attend a deradicalization course while he was serving a prison sentence for terrorism related charges in 2012.
- In the letter obtained by ITV, Khan wrote that he wanted to live his life as a “good Muslim and also a good citizen of Britain.”
- He also wrote that he didn’t carry the views that led to his arrest after becoming more mature in prison.
- Seven years later, Khan killed two people and wounded three with a knife at London Bridge.
- The Islamic State group has claimed that Khan was one the group’s soldiers, but has offered no proof to back up its claim.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The deceased London Bridge knife attacker Usman Khan wrote a letter in 2012 asking to take part in a deradicalization course while he was serving a prison sentence for terrorism related charges, according to ITV, which obtained a copy of the letter.
In the letter, Khan said he wanted to take a course offered by the Home Office to “prove to the authorities, my family, and soicity [sic] in general that I don’t carry the views I had before my arrest.”
He also claimed that he was “immature” before his arrest and that he had become more mature while serving his prison sentence, and that he wanted to live his life as a “good Muslim and also a good citizen of Britain.”
Seven years later, on Friday afternoon, Khan stabbed and killed two people and wounded three others on London Bridge before he was constrained by bystanders with whatever tools were available, including fire extinguishers and a narwhal tusk. When police arrived at the scene, Khan was shot and killed. He was wearing a fake suicide bomb vest, police said.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday, claiming that Kahn was one of the group’s soldiers. ISIS did not offer any proof to back their claim.
The lawyer who represented Khan in 2012 told ITV that the events were “astonishing,” as Khan had seemingly rejected radical ideologies and violent extremism, and he understood that “it was wrong.”
Khan was known to the authorities due to a previous conviction involving a plot with a group of men to attack the London Stock Exchange, among other targets in 2010. Khan, who was 19 at the time, pleaded guilty to several charges, and he was first sentenced to eight years in prison until the sentence was increased to 16 years after an appeal.
Khan was eventually granted an early release on the agreement that he would wear an electronic monitoring tag.
At the time of the attack, Khan was wearing the electronic tag, according to The Guardian. He was invited on Friday to a prison rehabilitation conference at Fishmonger’s Hall, on the north side of London Bridge, which is where the attack began.
- Read more:
- The first victim in the London Bridge attack has been identified as a 25-year-old Cambridge University worker Jack Merritt
- The heroic civilian who helped police tackle the London Bridge attacker says he was ‘just a Londoner doing his bit’
- 2 victims are dead and a suspect was killed by police in a London terror incident. Here’s how the attack unfolded.
- A tour guide says he was one of the bystanders who thwarted the knife-wielding attacker on the London Bridge and ‘kicked him in the head’